Close this search box.

for love notes, affirmations, launch announcements etc.

Fill in the boxes that represent your information love languages.

By signing up, you acknowledge that you are over 16.* 

Like love notes?

We don’t do spam, just tips on how to get sexier.

    By signing up, you acknowledge that you are over 16.*


    7 MIN READ

    How to be a better fuck up

    How many times do you have to fuck up before you make a change?

    What would happen if you could access your self-belief? It may be buried beneath self-doubt and years of excuses but imagine what you could achieve if you had more time, fewer excuses, more money, no doubt, more energy, stronger will power…Andy Summons helps us face our shadows, knowing that when we set out to solve our fuck ups, and avoid them, we won’t always get it right. 

    People have been fucking up since time began. Have you ever wondered how many people across the entire timeline of humanity have died in the pursuit of working out what kills us and what doesn’t?

    Just because you fuck up, doesn’t mean you’re a fuck up.

    Everyone fucks up. Some fuckups are bigger than others, but everyone does it. The problem is, when you fuck up, you’re often your own harshest critic. Empathy goes out the window because you should know better, right? Negative self-speak flows like a natural spring of poison rising up from your subconscious to flood your brain. You’re your own harshest critic because you know better than anyone what you’re capable of achieving. It may be buried beneath self-doubt and years of excuses but you know what you could achieve if only you stopped fucking up, had more time, fewer excuses, more money, no doubt (look what Gwen Stefani did with No Doubt), more energy, stronger will power. You know you can be better, do better, and when you fuck up, when you disappoint these expectations it feels shit. You feel like a failure, like you’re wasting your life, like you’ll never get anywhere because you keep fucking up.

    But guess what? People have been fucking up since time began. Have you ever wondered how many people across the entire timeline of humanity have died in the pursuit of working out what kills us and what doesn’t? It haunts me to think about the trail of death and destruction that led to us knowing which mushrooms make you bleed from your eyes, and which ones make you see through time and giggle. 309 years ago one of the greatest English poets, Alexander Pope, wrote that ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine’ – ‘err’ is 18th century for fuck up.



    Consider the difference between fault and responsibility. Too often we confound the two. You come back to find someone’s backed into your car and smashed the tail light, no note on the windscreen – fuck. It’s not your fault but it’s your responsibility to fix it. And if you’ve ever backed into someone’s car, it is your fault and your responsibility to fix it. You are responsible for fixing fuck ups that affect you whether it’s your fault or not.

    The only thing you can control in life, is your own actions and reactions. The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga, shares the insights of Austrian psychoanalyst Alfred Adler. Adler says we choose our emotions. So when you fuck up, you subconsciously chose how you feel. Feelings aren’t passive things that just happen, unconsciously we chose them in the spur of the moment. There’s a stimulus – you fuck up – and in a fraction of a second your mind choses a response – sadness/ disappointment and self-blame, probably. Maybe even anger – a vain attempt at regaining control, Adler says. Your emotions and feelings are your responsibility, which can be a tough mouthful to chew, but it also means you have the power to choose different emotions, even in the spur of the moment. Emotions are tools we use to understand a situation, which means you can pick them up and put them down as you please, it just takes some practice. Your challenge, especially when you realised you’ve fucked up, is to pause between the stimulus and your response, or at least reflect on your first response and choose whether to continue down that path or take an alternative. 



    Choose empathy and understanding towards yourself instead. Take ownership over it, apologise if it will help. Once you take responsibility for the fuck up, you can start solving it. It’s so rare to take full ownership without laying blame (shout out to most politicians) you’ll surprise people and help diffuse the stress that comes with blame.

    In the historical context of fuck ups, mine seemed insignificant, indulgent and privileged. I dreamt of being a published author in my mid 20s, but I wasn’t even writing a single word. I felt like a proper fuck up. Writing is the thing I thought I did best and I wasn’t even doing it. I was just coming up with excuses and wallowing in self-pity – I wasn’t taking responsibility for my actions, for what I wanted to achieve. I even studied writing and a few people from my writing group got published, but not me. It felt like I was never going to get published, it still does sometimes because I’m still not, but I don’t feel like a fuck up anymore. I was a writer who didn’t write, so I was nothing.  

    After one dark existential crisis, I realised I had to be proactive and take responsibility for changing my behaviour. I realised I wasn’t writing because I was petrified of failure. Being a writer is such an important part of my identity. I was terrified that if I wrote something people didn’t like it, then my ambitions, my identity and my very existence by extension, were a joke. The problem was, I was focusing on the wrong part of the problem. I was focusing on the outcome, not the process, and I didn’t know how to build lasting habits.



    If you want to change something in your life, change your behaviour, write more, stay open to fucking up, it actually means you’re doing something instead of staying in the paralysis of fear  – the same is true for relationships too. If you want to build better habits, quit bad habits, or start taking incremental steps towards a goal, Atomic Habits written by James Clear may be the best thing you’ll ever read. Clear says there are 3 levels at which we can make change – identity, process and outcome. You may think your identity is quite concrete and difficult to change, but your identity is just a set of beliefs you have about yourself and the world. And Clear says the key to building long-lasting habits is to start with your identity beliefs. 

    The first step is with deciding the type of person you want to be. How do you want to change for the better? 

    The second step is proving to yourself you can be that person with small meaningful wins. Identity: I want to be a published author and write prolifically. 

    Small win: I will write every day. 



    Easy, done, right? You know as well as I do there’s a big chasm between ambition and action. Don’t worry, Clear has something for that – habit stacking.

    What’s something you do every day? Yes, waking up counts. So does lying in bed scrolling before properly getting up, walking the dog, eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, getting lost in Tik Tok, having a morning coffee, starting work, lunch – they’re all habits. Some good, some bad. The best way to change your behaviour, is to start proving your new identity to yourself with some small wins and the best way to introduce a new habit, is to stack it on top of an existing habit. So I wake up, scroll, make coffee, surf or don’t, walk the dog, go to work. Then I come home, scroll on the couch, walk the dog again, make dinner, stream some bullshit and go to bed. I want to be a published author and to do that, I want to write every day. I work best in the morning and love a coffee when I write, so I stacked writing on my morning coffee.

    I set an alarm on my phone to get up and make coffee at 6:30 and then a second alarm at 6:40 to write for 30mins. I stacked something that helps me work towards my goal of getting published onto something I enjoy doing every morning. Using phone alarms, or even calendar reminders is a great way to give yourself a little nudge. It’s also important to start small and work up to bigger habits. I’m not trying to stack ‘finish first draft of my manuscript’ on top of making coffee. Keep your new habit achievable.



    When you set out to solve your fuck ups, and avoid them, you won’t always get it right. You will fuck up again, and that’s okay – that’s human. Sometimes, or maybe often, you won’t know what the best decision is. Remember that every choice we make is a trade off. Every decision demands that you weigh up one thing against another. Ask yourself, does this decision help me get closer to being the person I want to be?

    One last point to help you on your way. If you don’t know what to do,  if you don’t know what your next step should be, try to optimise for chance. What can you do that will give you the best chance of moving towards your goal? You are destined for great things. What it is and how you achieve it is up to you.